In between work and play, eating healthy is the last thing on our minds. Throughout our day we are faced with the most challenging yet simplest of questions: Apple or bag of chips? Never fear ladies, the key to a healthy diet is quite simple, and the first step is a balanced diet. A well-rounded diet is achieved with just the basics – consisting of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. This nutrition can be obtained from these 7 foods.
Fruits, such as tomatoes, and veggies are rich in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that is responsible for the vibrant colors in these foods. It is an antioxidant that helps neutralize the free radicals in our bodies, and in doing so, helps prevent degenerative diseases. Lycopene has also been shown to have a protective effect against skin, stomach, lung and colon cancers. It reduces the risk of blood vessel wall thickening, also called arteriosclerosis, and helps to protect the skin from UV ray sun exposure.
Flaxseed can be found in crackers, waffles and oatmeal. It owes its healthy reputation to its fibre, lignans, and omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is known to help prevent some cancers, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, hot-flashes (during menopause), diabetes and high blood pressure. It can be used as a substitute for egg, butter, and/or oil in baking to lessen the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol.
This leafy-green veggie adds to a day’s worth of vitamin C. It has antioxidants like lutein and zeazanthin that protect the eye. Kale also provides an adequate amount of vitamin K, a potent bone builder, which improves calcium absorption and acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins. In doing so, it wards off osteoporosis (women are affected 4 times more often than men), and hip fractures. Likewise, high doses of vitamin A in kale assist in the sebum production of the body to keep hair moisturized and healthy.
Salmon’s omega 3 fatty acids are scientifically proven to increase cardiovascular health and, especially during and after pregnancy, prevent the incidence of depression. It is an excellent source of vitamin D, and a deficiency of this vitamin in the body can increase the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type-1 diabetes. In pregnant women, salmon with its omega 3s is critical for a developing fetus as it helps in the development of the brain and nervous system.
Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and salicylic acid, cranberry juice is ideal in curing and preventing various illnesses. Consumption of cranberry juice increases the intake of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) which supports heart health by preventing the occurrences of blood clots. The antioxidants change the structure of bacteria inhibiting them to stick to the cells of the bladder. This makes cranberry juice a major preventive measure against Urinary Tract Infections
Greek yogurt has twice the amount of protein and half the amount of sugar than most yogurts. It helps in weight loss, healthier aging, and muscle maintenance. Greek yogurt contains probiotics that help to maintain the digestive system. They help in increasing the “good” bacteria in the digestive tract which ultimately eliminates the potentially harmful bacteria. Greek yogurt is also an important source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium that helps in lowering high blood pressure as well as promoting strong, healthy bones.
Just a hand-full of walnuts a day can help fight cancer and osteoporosis as well as provide the right amount of nutrients that your body needs. Walnuts contain selenium, zinc, and biotin which help in maintaining the strength and natural shine of hair. Bio-available melatonin is also found in walnuts, which has been found to improve sleeping patterns.
A healthy, well-balanced diet provides you with energy, a better mood, a smaller waistline, and keeps you looking your best. It can also serve as a huge support throughout different stages in life like pregnancy, postpartum, menopause etc. Healthy food can help lessen PMS, combat stress, and boost fertility. No matter your age, committing to a healthy diet will help you look and feel healthy so it’s made possible to stay on top of your commitments and enjoy life.